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ViroPharma Inc. (VPHM) and Lev Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LEVP.OB) Venture into a Multi-Million Merger to Expand Portfolios, Extend Market Reach

Biopharmaceutical companies ViroPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: VPHM) and Lev Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCBB: LEVP) today announced a definitive merger agreement potentially worth $617.5 million to further joint efforts for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Per the agreement, VioPharma will acquire Lev for $442.9 million, or $2.75 per Lev share, comprised of $2.25 per share in cash and 50 cents per share in ViroPharma common stock. The deal will be executed upon approval by the board of directors of both companies. The deal is scheduled to be completed in 2008, and specifies that ViroPharma will purchase $20 million of Lev common stock.

“This transaction is consistent with ViroPharma’s stated objective of broadening our portfolio of therapies for serious life-threatening conditions in selected specialty markets,” Milano stated in a press release. “Lev’s orphan drug Cinryze is a life-saving therapy treating a very dangerous disease.”

Cinryze is currently under regulatory review, awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a replacement therapy for patients with hereditary angioedema, or C1-INH deficiency, a condition in which patients are afflicted with recurrent, unpredictable, debilitating, and potentially life threatening attacks of inflammation affecting the larynx, abdomen, face, extremities and urogenital tract.

“This opportunity provides a clear strategic fit with ViroPharma: Cinryze targets a market that is addressable with modest additional infrastructure and further serves patients suffering from a disease with few treatment options. We are very pleased to add the expertise of Lev to our organization, and Cinryze to our growing portfolio of options for underserved patient populations with critical and urgent needs,” Milano stated.

According to the companies, approximately 10,000 patients in the United States are affected by the genetic deficiency. Clinical studies show that C1 inhibitor replacement therapy with Cinryze can significantly reduce the severity, duration and frequency of HAE attacks.

“We believe this transaction recognizes the value we have created at Lev and provides our shareholders with attractive financial terms, through the upfront payment and the opportunity to continue to share in the success of Cinryze through the ownership of ViroPharma shares and the contingent value rights,” Judson Cooper, Lev’s chairman of the board stated. “Leveraging the combined resources of both companies not only strengthens our C1 inhibitor development platform, but also underscores our commitment to serving patients with critical unmet medical needs.”

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